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  1. 1. 1 – 3050 Chain Bridge Rd., Suite 310, Fairfax, VA 22030 – P. 703-634-5701 – F. 703-634-5745 PERSONAS CLIENT: BusinessUSA PROJECT: Strategic Marketing DATE: November 26, 2014 PERSONAS OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION The following initial personas were developed based on the persona and audience segmentation workshop held on November 17, 2014 with input from the joint BusinessUSA and Bixal marketing team. These personas are intended to serve as the starting point for future persona development, but reflect BusinessUSA’s more immediate need to focus on users that fall in the three categories ranging from potential entrepreneurs to more mature small businesses. The intent is to further refine these personas once interviews with users and other stakeholders have been conducted. Additional personas will be created and refined in the weeks and months ahead, based on interviews, research and additional input from BusinessUSA.
  2. 2. 2 Derek Pre-revenue companies – potential entrepreneurs with no revenue MeetDerek Derek works as an accountant, but dreams of opening a craft brewery. On the weekends, he likes to go to beer festivals and tastings at local watering holes. Derek likes to research beer trends and news online when taking a break at work. He spends hours reading articles about others who have opened their own microbrewery. He may research possible locations to start his business, different types of beer to make, or potential company names, but does not fully understand what is involved in launching a business. Derek has saved money needed to start his venture, but is very nervous about leaving the security of his desk job. He needs to look into financing options, as well as decide if he can afford to start his venture full time from the beginning. If he had a better understanding about how others had made a similar transition, he would be better prepared on how to proceed. Derek is technically proficient and has no trouble navigating the Internet. Derek’s Barriers • Derek does not know whether he should start his business full-time or work up to it • Derek does not have any experience starting a business • He does not know how to create a business model or which business model is most relevant to his plans Goals and Objectives • Explore pertinent articles • Consultations with an experienced general counselor • Connect with other people in similar situations • Understand what the first steps are to beginning a small business • Browse inspiring and engaging stories about others in similar situations BusinessUSAcontent that Might Appealto Derek Existing • Start a business • Access financing • Trade shows and other networking events for would-be entrepreneurs New • Articles on industries, customer demographics, projections and success stories • Information on how to pitch to investors • Information on how to market and sell BusinessUSA’s Messaging Strategy • Starting a new business is not as complicated as one might think; BusinessUSA can walk you through it PersonalInfo: Age: 43 Location: Chicago, IL Education: Master’s Degree Phase: Dreamer Industry: Food & Beverage Salary: $90K Online Hours: 40+ a week Web Skills: Advanced
  3. 3. 3 Sophia Early startup (0-3 years) – organizations with $0- 1 million in revenue and under 100 employees Meet Sophia Sophia fell in love with plants and flowers early in life; she grew up spending her free time weeding and pruning alongside her sisters. After much encouragement from family and friends, she took the plunge to open her own landscaping company. Business has slowed down a little over the past few months and walk-in traffic has decreased. She wants to research new marketing ideas to drum up more business but is not sure where to start. Sophia is not very tech-savvy. She uses the Internet when she needs to, but would rather obtain professional guidance over the phone or in person. She wants her company to grow steadily and healthily and is interested in finding out what is available to her as a minority woman business owner. She is also bi-lingual, and interested in resources in English and Spanish. Sophia’s Barriers • Sophia is not very comfortable finding information on the web and needs some help finding relevant answers to her growing list of questions Goals and Objectives • Generate more revenue • Learn about the opportunities available to women and minority business owners • Become educated on marketing best practices • Sit down for an in-person meeting with an experienced business counselor • Connect with other people in similar situations BusinessUSA’s Messaging Strategy  Tools and resources for maximizing opportunities for growth that are easy to understand and apply BusinessUSAContentthat Might Appealto Sophia Existing • Access financing • Contracting opportunities • Events • Request an appointment • Content aimed at women and minority- owned businesses New • Articles on industries, demographics, projections and success stories • Interactive checklists • Information on how to market and sell PersonalInfo: Age: 32 Location: Los Angeles, CA Education: High school diploma Group: Woman-owned, minority-owned Phase: Managing, growing Industry: Service Salary: $40K Online Hours: 10+ a week Web Skills: Intermediate
  4. 4. 4 Erica Mature small business (3 years+) – organizations with $1-20 million in revenue and under 100 employees Meet Erica Erica manages a successful 12-year-old company that produces women’s clothing. She has her bachelor’s degree in fashion design and continues to learn about marketing, sales and management through online courses, books, and from colleagues. She also keeps up with current fashion trends by reading blogs and magazines and attending fashion merchandising events. Erica’s clothing line has become more popular in the U.S. and she has recently been considering exporting to other countries. She started researching trends and styles overseas, but is not sure what kind of regulations there are or what steps to follow to get started. Erica also employs nearly two dozen individuals, and therefore has questions about health insurance for her employees in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Erica is very comfortable with technology and teaches herself how to use new programs that she finds useful. She is very active on social media, does her research and shopping online, and is more comfortable chatting online with a customer service representative than talking on the phone or in person. She is interested in finding the correct answers quickly. Erica’s Barriers • Erica wants to grow and expand her business but does not know where to find the right information • Erica is impatient in getting answers Goals and Objectives • Learn exporting best practices • Learn about the laws and regulations concerning exporting • Generate more revenue • Acquire a step-by-step checklist that will lay out her plan • Connect with people who have been successful in similar situations • Business matchmaking BusinessUSA’s Messaging Strategy • BusinessUSA can help businesses expand by maximizing opportunities and avoiding growing pains BusinessUSAContentthat Might Appealto Erica Existing • Exporting • Events • Regulations • Taxes • Healthcare New • Articles on industries, demographics, projections and success stories • Interactive checklists • Economic indicators • Succession planning • Product development strategies Personal Info: Age: 46 Location: New York, NY Education: Bachelor’s degree Group: Established business, woman-owned, Phase: Managing, growing Industry: Retail Salary: $58K Online Hours: 40+ a week Web Skills: Advanced